Iron Man (song)
|Single by Black Sabbath|
|from the album Paranoid|
3:33 (Single version)|
5:56 (Album version)
|Label||Warner Bros. (US/Canada)|
|Songwriter(s)||Iommi, Osbourne, Butler, Ward|
|Black Sabbath singles chronology|
"Iron Man" is a song by British heavy metal band Black Sabbath. It is taken from their second studio album, Paranoid, released in 1970. It was later included on their initial greatest hits compilation We Sold Our Soul for Rock 'n' Roll (1976), as well as all subsequent greatest hits compilations; The single version was included on the Greatest Hits 1970–1978 album.
Writing and recording
Upon hearing the main guitar riff for the first time, vocalist Ozzy Osbourne remarked that it sounded "like a big iron bloke walking about". The title became "Iron Man", with Geezer Butler writing the lyrics around the title. Ozzy Osbourne sang behind a metal fan to get the sound effect in its first line, 'I am Iron Man!'. Despite this, the song has no connection to the Marvel Comics character of the same name.
The lyrics tell the story of a man who time travels into the future, and sees the apocalypse. In the process of returning to the present, he is turned into steel by a magnetic storm. He is rendered mute, unable verbally to warn people of his vision of impending destruction. His attempts to communicate are ignored and mocked. This causes Iron Man to become furious, and drives his revenge on mankind, causing the apocalypse seen in his vision, alluding to Joseph Stalin (whose name literally means "Man of Steel").
Awards and accolades
- The song won spot number 317 in Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
- The song peaked at number 52 on The Billboard Hot 100 in 1972.
- The song reached number 68 on the Canadian RPM Magazine Top 100. 
- VH1 ranked the song as the greatest heavy metal song of all time.
- Classic Albums - Paranoid, by Isis Productions/Eagle Rock Entertainment
- "'Guitar Hero': The Video Game That Literally Rocks". MTV News. 14 December 2005. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
- "The Story Behind Black Sabbath's Iron Man". 102.9 WMGK. 5 August 2016. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
- "BLACK SABBATH - FAQ version 2.0". Black Sabbath Online.
- Himmer, Robert (July 1986). ""On the Origin and Significance of the Name 'Stalin'"". 45 (3): 269–286.
- "The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. 9 December 2004. Retrieved 31 August 2009.
- Billboard Singles for Black Sabbath at AllMusic